Wednesday Write-Up: Can Travel Help End Hatred?

There are many awful things going on in the world right now. Actually let me rephrase that, there are always vile and foul and hateful things happening in our world.  There have been short times of world peace in human history, but certainly not during my lifetime, and I am pretty sure that there won’t be either. No, I am not being a negative Nancy, I am just being real. What’s going on in Ferguson,  Iraq, Israel, and in the Ukraine makes my stomach turn. I do not usually write about such charged topics, but this has been weighing on my mind and I had a thought that I wanted to share.

"2007 report child plane" by Image from the US State Department's Compliance Report on the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child AbductionTransferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by User:Liftarn using CommonsHelper.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2007_report_child_plane.jpg#mediaviewer/File:2007_report_child_plane.jpg
“2007 report child plane” by Image from the US State Department’s Compliance Report on the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child AbductionTransferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by User:Liftarn using CommonsHelper.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2007_report_child_plane.jpg#mediaviewer/File:2007_report_child_plane.jpg

We humans love to hate other humans. We cannot seem to stop ourselves. We judge people, we try to control others,  all the while we tell ourselves that we are “good people.” It’s a real conundrum to me, because I am pretty sure if we are all “good people” then kindness and love would be shown a whole lot more in this world.  But I digress…

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”― Mark Twain

This quote by Mark Twain is what made me want to write this post. It brought to print what I had been thinking since we began traveling a year and a half ago.  I think that traveling can help to end much of the hatred that we humans show to each other. That along with having true faith in Jesus Christ, but that is another post for another day.

When we left our hometown of Santa Rosa, California and started to experience new cultures along the way, my eyes were opened. I began to realize  how staying in one place or community your whole life can cause fear and hatred for those that are different.  Visiting other cultures made me realize that we humans are all just humans. We all deserve to live, we all deserve to be treated with love and respect, we all deserve to live without fear. I strive to not see a persons color, religion, or financial status anymore… I choose to see a person that should be loved. My faith taught me that’s how I should be to others, but traveling is what made me believe it.

Travel does not have to be to international destinations for this to work. It can be as close as exploring a neighboring town or county, heck it could be a street away from you. Get outside your comfort zone and meet others that live differently from you. It could be that they are a different race, or a different religion, or are wealthy or poor. Once you get to know others that are different from yourself, you will start to see that we are all people just trying to make it through this life in our own way.  Seeing first hand how others live is much more real than the garbage that the media feeds us about “those people” and I am hoping that it will open your eyes like it did mine.

It is difficult to fear something that we understand. So, it makes sense to me that the more that we all delve into other cultures, the more we will understand where they are coming from.  Can travel cure our hate filled hearts? No, only God can do that. But I do think travel is a way to spread understanding and love.

What do you think about this? What other ways do you think we can stop being so hateful and start loving others? I know that some will disagree with me about my opinions in this post.  Disagree away, but please keep your comments nice and constructive.

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